You get what you Expect

The problem is?

The problem is that he’s lazy.


Yes really….

Wait a minute, how do you know he’s lazy?

I just know!  I have to keep on him, to push him.

Push him?

Push him yes! You know, to work harder; everybody needs to be pushed!


Yes, people are naturally lazy.

And so?

And so it’s my job to make them work, to really push them.

What do you think he’s thinking while all your pushing is going on?

I don’t care what he’s thinking, I’m just pushing.

I bet I know what he’s thinking.


He’s thinking, he’ll push back.

What do you mean?

Push back – he learns to play YOUR game, to watch out for you, look frantic and suck up when you’re around and do as little as possible  when you aren’t – that game.  Why not?   You already think he’s lazy, he’ll never change your view, so why not beat you at your own game? 

I’m smarter than he is!  I’ll just push him harder: that’s what I’ll do!

You don’t have that kind of time; you need to be doing your real job too.  You’re trying to build something, remember, that’s what this whole thing is about.  SO… what would happen if you treated him like he isn’t lazy, treat him like an adult, and pretend he actually wants to work hard.  What do you think would happen then?

He would be worse, didn’t you hear what I said earlier: everyone is lazy.

Yes I heard, but it isn’t my experience of most people, especially when it comes to work. 

You don’t know people.

Yes I do.

All right, so what’s your story about people?

I know that most people do want to work hard, most people do want to do their best – only they need to know what good work looks like.  That’s your job, to tell them, and to show them how, perhaps to teach them, teach them how they can succeed.  If it turns out they are really lazy then fine, you need to let them be lazy somewhere else and hire a promising person from the “most people” category above.

You are a hopeless idealist.

Yes I am, but don’t let that put you off.  This idea is a very good one.  You should give it a try, I think you’ll be surprised.  If I am right, and my experience shows that I am, then you can adopt this new attitude, get on with your real work which, by the way is NOT to be following others around to be sure they’re working hard.  Your job is to build something, remember?  And if you don’t get going with building… others may think you’re lazy, and we certainly don’t want that to happen, do we?

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One Response to You get what you Expect

  1. Dean Heathcote says:

    Walt; This idea is so rich… goes beyond business communities and right into personal relationships, families, and especially raising children. I love reading your monthly posts and continue to think of you often. Thanks for your friendship and wonderful coaching.
    All the best.

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